Mayor Jon Mitchell supports New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro

Chief issues statement responding to

criticism from police union officials


New Bedford, Massachusetts– Based on reports from members of the New Bedford police union, the union’s leadership convened a meeting yesterday to take a vote in opposition to Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro’s leadership.

The union is currently in contract negotiations with the City of New Bedford. In response to the union’s reported action, Mayor Jon Mitchell today issued the following statement:

“I want to make very clear to the residents of New Bedford that Chief Joseph Cordeiro has my full confidence and support as he works to modernize and strengthen the New Bedford Police Department. The Chief has spent a long and distinguished career with the New Bedford Police Department working to keep our neighborhoods safe. In his role as Chief, he is taking important steps to improve the effectiveness of the Police Department, and introduce the very best operational practices to our city. At a time of limited taxpayer resources, New Bedford needs and deserves the best police force possible, and Chief Cordeiro is the right person to lead our dedicated officers.”

Chief Cordeiro also issued a statement:

“Over the past 3 years as Chief of Police, I have been committed to upholding the highest professional standards – which the vast majority of our officers exemplify on a daily basis, and which the residents of our city deserve from their police force.

“Thirty-three years ago, I swore an oath to protect and serve the residents of New Bedford as a police officer – an oath I take to heart every day. As Chief, it is incumbent upon me to make the difficult decisions that are in the best interests of public safety for our city. That has included modernizing our Police Department, making our neighborhoods safer and decreasing criminal activity in our city, and fostering a culture of accountability and high standards. These decisions are not always easy, or popular with the union leadership, but they are essential to ensuring we continue to have a high-performing Police Department that protects and serves the public.

“While I am disappointed by the latest action initiated by the union leadership, I am not surprised given that we are currently engaged in negotiating a new contract, and the union’s leadership has sought to lobby for public pressure with tactics like this. There are important issues to be discussed as part of a new contract, and the City remains willing to discuss those issues at the bargaining table.

“I remain one hundred percent committed to the City of New Bedford, and to leading the Department and its hard-working officers who uphold their oaths daily to protect and serve the residents of our community.”